It’s that time of year where parents up and down the UK have mixed emotions about the Summer holidays being over (no more fun), the kids going back to school and households abound, finally getting back to a routine. It’s also that time where the cost of buying the school uniform, often in multiples depending on no: of kids hits you right where it hurts.
With back to school costs wedged firmly between shelling out over the 6 week break and preparing for Christmas, it’s no wonder many many households are pushed into debt with the cost of back to school.
As a mum of three children under the age of ten, two of which are in school (Phoebe starts this September) it’s all too easy to opt for the supermarket ranges to keep the cost as low as possible. Previously I have tried out a few different ranges and unfortunately they just didn’t cut the mustard, well not in my household anyway.
Whilst the supermarket ranges serve a purpose and help many families with their back to school essentials, I do believe that if parents were offered a way of budgeting across the year to pay for better quality, longer lasting and official uniforms (tax-free) many would opt for this. Who wants to keep replacing items due to wear and tear? I know I don’t.
Ted’s jumper from the school shop was £11.50 and badged with his crest, supermarket, department stores ones range from £4 – £7.00 which seems great value, Teddy’s has lasted 2 years so far and is about to be passed down to Phoebe, so unless she loses it, or uses it for arts & crafts, I expect to get at least another year out of it as it’s practically pristine and still as hasn’t lost its shape or colour through washing. £11.50 / 3 = £3.83 per year isn’t bad!
Now, it could be my old age creeping up on me or motherhood making me more aware in general but I have reached a stage of heightened awareness and want to make ethical choices about not only the obvious things like food but also about where our clothes are sourced. I want to know that my money is being spent on robust, hard wearing, high quality and ethically sourced clothing, which I know in the long-run will save me money and ease my conscience.
Last year, I made a video about school uniforms and at that time had purchased most of Teddy’s un-badged uniform from the supermarket, i’ve had to replace it multiple times over the last 2 years, so on reflection it’s probably cost me triple..
This year, MyFamilyClub have joined forces with the Schoolwear Association to get UK parents to sign an e-petition http://tinyurl.com/schoolwear to bring the idea of tax-free uniforms to the Prime Minister. The Schoolwear Association wants to make school uniform more affordable for hardworking families. With uniforms being a vital element of school life, parents should be encouraged to buy good quality, ethically sourced uniform at an affordable price.
I’m fully behind the Schoolwear Association’s campaign to get tax free uniform. This will help parents budget across the year and to help provide long lasting, good quality school uniform. I urge all parents to back this campaign and support the petition. Wouldn’t it be nice to be given a break for once. Parents have it so hard these days financially and it would be wonderful to collectively make a change that benefits us all.
Good luck with getting your little ones and big ones back to school this September, I hear a massive, collective sigh about to be released into the atmosphere come next week.
Please share this post and let’s make some noise and help each other along the way to cope with the financial hurdles that bringing up a family brings. Which reminds me, damn that tooth fairy! my son’s lost 6 teeth so far and somehow managed to con me into giving him £2 per tooth! Ah, well, he can put it towards his school shoes :0)
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Here is the link again to our e-petition: http://tinyurl.com/schoolwear
Thanks for reading!
* photo source: coloured pencils David Blaikie